Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fathers and Sons

While many people believe that Father's Day is a holiday invented by the fine folks at Hallmark, it's not so. The celebration of Dad's special day can most likely be credited to Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington State, who first suggested the idea of the holiday in 1909.

Mrs. Dodd's father, civil war veteran William Smart, was widowed when his wife died during childbirth with their sixth child. Despite the obvious hardships, Mr. Smart proceeded to raise the newborn along with his five other children, by himself.

It wasn't until Sonora Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. The original date chosen for the holiday was June 5, Mr. Smart's birthday, however the celebration was postponed until June 19, the third Sunday in June, because there was not enough time to prepare.

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day, but it never became official until 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the presidential proclamation that set aside the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day.

While many men are not fathers - they are sons. Today we honor fathers, but I also honor sons. They are the ones that the father leans on, for the son is the offspring of the father. And some of those sons go to war and some do not return.

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